Welcoming new president Joe Flach
 
By Dave Stave
 
Joe Flach, the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club’s incoming president, wants all club members to know that he is open and eager to listen to what they have to say.
 
Flach, who is only a phone call or a tap-on-the-shoulder away, says, “I hope everyone feels free to talk to me, honestly and openly … provide feedback, criticism, compliments, complaints.  Let me know what I can do to make your Midday Rotary experience better. I may not always be able to satisfy you, but I would like to, at least, be given the chance.”
 
With that spirit of openness, Flach will become 2016-17 president at the club’s installation dinner on Thursday, June 30. The event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Club at the Boatyard, 3117 Harborview Drive, on Gig Harbor’s waterfront. Midday Rotary members will be thanking outgoing president Howard Svigals for his year of service.
 
Flach, the owner of Safe Harbor Consulting LLC, and his wife, Cindy, moved to Gig Harbor in August 2008, from Verona, N.J., 16 miles west of New York City. He explained what brought him to Washington.
 
“Cindy and I were just at a point in our lives where we needed a change. I had reached a point where it made sense for me to end my relationship with my business partner and, after 18 years, we had had enough of the New Jersey-New York area.  We took about a year's time to research where we might like to relocate and the Seattle area worked its way to the top of our list.”
 
Clients all over the globe
Upon arriving in Gig Harbor, Flach developed Safe Harbor Consulting. As a management consultant, Flach specializes in crisis management, business continuity and disaster recovery planning.  
 
“I am currently a one-man shop, but I do hope to add others in the near future,” Flach said. “I help clients prepare for technology and business disasters and help them exercise/practice their responses to emergencies and crises.”
Flach works for clients all over the globe on projects ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
 
He and Cindy will celebrate their silver (25th) wedding anniversary on Sept. 28. Cindy works for Carnival Cruise Corp. as manager of disaster recovery planning in its technology department. The two have one son at home, Spencer, 12, a frequent visitor with his dad to Midday Rotary Club meetings. Spencer will be a seventh-grader at Goodman Middle School.
 
The couple have three grown children, all living on the East Coast.  Daughter Torrie, who turns 37 in August, lives in Metuchen, N.J., and has 3-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.  The Flachs’ son Tyler lives in Tampa, Fla., and has a 3-year-old boy and baby girl due on her grandpa Joe’s birthday, July 20. Son Nolan lives in Bel Air, Md., and has a soon to be 5-year-old daughter.
 
Flach’s mother Doris Kimball Flach lives in Hiawassee, Ga. He also two brothers and three sisters who live in Ohio and Georgia.
 
His early days: from Maryland to Ohio
Flach was born in Baltimore, Md., but moved to Chicago at age 5, Charleston, W.V. at 6 and Centerville (Dayton), Ohio at 11.
He graduated from Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio, in 1976.  He earned a degree from Ohio State University in 1980 majoring in computer and information sciences. He went on to obtain an MBA from the University of Richmond in 1985 in business management.
 
He started his career in Kettering, Ohio, in 1980, working as a programmer for NCR Corporation. In 1983 he took a job as a programmer-analyst for the Bank of Virginia in Richmond, Va., where he eventually was promoted to assistant vice-president for information security and disaster recovery. In 1990, he moved to New Jersey to take a job as an internal consultant for Union Camp and in 1991 he became a consultant working for Comdisco.  
 
Flach became an independent consultant in 1998 and then joined up with a partner in 1999 to form Eagle Rock Alliance.
He explained, “When I first moved to Washington I had a job with Alaska Airlines in charge of business continuity and emergency response planning before working again as a full-time consultant for my new company, Safe Harbor Consulting.”
 
Flach enjoys writing poetry and has a poetry blog called, “Poems, Lyrics and Stuff by an Average Joe.” He plays volleyball and loves the outdoors, including hiking and exploring.
 
Flach said he is excited about his upcoming year as the Midday Club president and does not anticipate any major changes.
 
A family atmosphere
 
“The strength of our club is in the members themselves,” he said. “I love that we are not too big and not too small.  And, I love the kinship and family atmosphere that our club wears. There should be no major changes other than to continue to improve. have fun and maybe add a little more diversity in the membership.  
 
But, he added, “this club does not need ‘fixing’ and I do not see any need to force changes that are not needed.”